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United States currency may not be the only place to find the national motto, "In God We Trust," in Macon County. Macon County Commissioners could vote as early as October on whether or not to add the motto to public buildings at the request of the U.S. Motto Action Committee.

Last week, former Davidson County commissioner and current member of the U.S. Motto Action Committee Kevin Lanier spoke to Macon officials about adding the motto to public buildings in the county. Lanier spoke on behalf of the action committee who have been petitioning local governments across the state to display the motto since 2002 when Davidson County voted to do so.


Electricity will be shut off if violations go uncorrected.

Over the last couple of months, volunteers and members of Father's House located on Jim Mann Road have been working to bring the facility up to code in hopes of avoiding being shut down by the county.

Earlier this summer, citing building and environmental issues at Father's House, which operates as a church and homeless shelter, Macon County officials advised the center's pastor, Lowell Monteith, that the power would be shut off to the building if the violations were not corrected by month's end. While the building was not brought up to compliance, the county was unable to cut the power to the operation because the building's electricity was connected to neighboring buildings.

While the county debated their next move, members of Father's House have been taking advantage of the extra time to improve the facility in hopes of meeting the county's requirements. Dr. Gordon Mercer, church member and WCU professor, updated commissioners last Tuesday to let them know of the improvements made to the shelter.


When Congressman Mark Meadows first sought to represent the 11th Congressional District, he ran on the promise of improving constituent services throughout the 17 counties he represents. Now in his second term, Congressman Meadows stands true to that mission and last Wednesday spent the day visiting with residents of Macon County.

"The best way to know what people in my district need and want is to ask them," Meadows said last week. "And one of the best ways to do that is to be in the district and to see folks face-to-face and to really listen to their concerns."


At the close of the 2015 non-profit funding pool application process for the town of Franklin, 14 local non-profits applied for a piece of the $40,000 pie that town officials set aside each year. With a $5,000 cap per request, the application requests totaled $66,000, which means over the next few weeks, town aldermen have to review each request and either decide not to allocate money to a specific non-profit or to not allocate the full amounts requested in order to stay within the budgeted $40,000.

Non-profit Requests

Appalachian Animal Rescue
Amount requested: $5,000 -- reoccurring
Purpose of funds: Funding would be used to assist low income residents with costs associated with the spaying and neutering of pets. Appalachian Animal Rescue is a no kill animal shelter. The more pets that are spayed and neutered means fewer animals on the streets and fewer being picked up by animal control.


A simple change in the wording of a traffic sign – from “Share the Road” to “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” – could help clarify the rules of the road for bicyclists and motorists, according to a North Carolina State University study.

“‘Share the Road’ signs are common but what that means in terms of how drivers and bicycle riders should interact can be ambiguous,” says George Hess, natural resources professor and co-author of the study in PLOS ONE. Some bicyclists complain that motorists consider them to be in the way, while some motorists accuse bicyclists of hogging the road.

Misunderstandings on the road can be deadly. “Personal safety probably ranks as the most important factor deterring people from commuting by bicycle, so anything we can do to improve safety, and perceptions of safety, is incredibly important,” says co-author Nils Peterson, also a natural resources faculty member.


Over the past several months, an undercover investigation with the Macon County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) revealed that at least nine businesses in Macon County were illegally operating sweepstakes gaming machines.

"Today was only the execution of multiple search warrants," Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland said on Monday. "Nine businesses total since Saturday night were investigated. This follows an undercover investigation that has gone on for several months. Every business paid out cash during this investigation."


Law enforcement prepares for “worst case scenario.”

Just days before school was set to open for the 2015-16 school year, deputies, police, fire and rescue personnel responded to Macon Middle School in response to a dispatch call that would be any parent's worst nightmare. Emergency Personnel and law enforcement got word that three masked gunmen had made entry into the school and the school was placed on lockdown. The realistic situation was an "Active Shooter Training Exercise" conductted by the Macon County Sheriff's Office, Macon County Emergency Services, and Macon County Schools.


At the direction of the Franklin Board of Aldermen, the Franklin Planning Board took a closer look at the town's Unified Development Ordinance text amendment for the proposed indoor shooting range to be located within the city limits.

Originally, the town planning board recommended the town consider allowing indoor shooting ranges within C1SU, C2SU, and C3SU zoning districts in Franklin as well as taking out a section of the text amendment that stated that indoor shooting ranges would require a 250-foot buffer when in close proximately to a property of residential use.


Family and friends of Day Williamson gathered in the Macon County courtroom on Tuesday afternoon hoping to find closure through resolution of the case against Charles Andrew Cochran, the man charged with Williamson's murder. After a 20 minute delay to begin court, and another two hour recess at the request of Cochran's counsel, Williamson's family learned that the state will now seek the death penalty.

Before court began, it was believed that the District Attorney's office and Cochran's counsel would be settling on a deal that would offer a life in prison sentence for Cochran instead of the death penalty, if Cochran were to plead guilty on Tuesday. The plea would avoid a trial and provide closure for the family of the victim.


Saturday afternoon members of the community were given a behind-the-scenes look at the Macon County Airport during an open house celebration.

The event, made possible by the county and the Macon County Airport Authority was held to allow members of the public to familiarize themselves with the facility and its role in the community.

Guests were treated to upclose encounters with a slew of airplanes and helicopters including the emergency medical helicopter known as MAMA.

Curtis Blackwell offered musical entertainment and refreshments were served.


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